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No fewer than 200 Nigerian doctors were licensed in April and May alone this year going by the figures made available by the General Medical Council, a body that licenses and maintains the official register of medical practitioners in the United Kingdom.
Africa Today News, New York understands that means that at least three Nigerian doctors were licensed per day in April and May 2021 despite a new policy by the UK government in February to discourage the aggressive recruitment of doctors from 47 developing countries facing a shortage of doctors at home, including Nigeria.
Going by figures on the website of GMC in the last 10 months, it was observed that the number of Nigerian trained doctors practising in the UK rose to 8,384 from 7,870, a difference of 514 over the said period.
Further observations by Africa Today News, New York further revealed that the average number of Nigerian trained doctors in the UK rose from an average of 1.3 per day in between July and December 2020 to 3.3 per day in April and May 2021.
Between June 7 and June 8, 2020 – a space of 24 hours – about seven Nigerian trained doctors were licensed by the UK.
Nigeria has the third-highest number of foreign doctors working in the UK after India and Pakistan.
However, Nigeria suffers a shortage of doctors.
The Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria puts the total number of registered doctors in Nigeria at 74,543 for the country’s population of about 200 million.
This puts the doctor-patient ratio in Nigeria presently at 1:3,500, which is a far cry from the World Health Organisation’s recommendation of 1:600.
Africa Today News, New York recalls that a poll by NOI in 2018 also showed that 88 percent of Nigerian doctors are considering work opportunities abroad, but experts say the figure may be higher due to the rising insecurity and economic crunch.
AFRICA TODAY NEWS, NEW YORK